Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Building The 53 - Roster Moves From 90 to 75

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson made a series of moves over the last three days to trim the roster from 90 to 75 players by 3 pm CDT on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 in order to comply with NFL rules.  Here is a breakdown of the moves made by Thompson:
- Placed on PUP list (4): Sean Richardson (S), Derek Sherrod (T), JC Tretter (OC/G), and Jerel Worhty (DL) so once the regular season starts those players cannot practice with the team for at least the first six games of season.
- Placed on injured reserve (4): Bryan Bulaga (T), Kevin Dorsey (WR), DuJuan Harris (RB), and Jarvis Reed (OLB) thus ending their 2013 season.
- Released (8): Alex Gillett (WR), Graham Harrell (QB), Omarius Hines (WR), Angelo Pease (RB), Gilbert Peña (DT), Zach Ramirez (K), Giorgio Tavecchio (K), and Justin Wilson (WR).

If you add up the players above it equals 16 but the roster moved from 90 to 75, which is only 15 so let me explain how one player was "double counted".  The oddest move made by Thompson in a long time was signing Ramirez on Sunday and cutting him on Tuesday, which must mean he kicked horribly in practice on Monday and is how we have 16 people listed above.

None of the players placed on the PUP list or injured reserved were a surprise other than Harris.  After missing most of the preseason, Harris got a couple carries against the Seattle Seahwawks where he re-injured his knee.  Head coach Mike McCarthy maintained throughout the preseason that when healthy, Harris was the starting running back.  I thought that was lip-service by McCarthy to light a fire under the other running backs on the roster because let's not forget that the Packers signed Harris last year while he was trying to sell cars after getting cut from the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars so take the loss of Harris with a grain of salty.

The injury to Harris means rookie Eddy Lacy, if healthy, will open the season as the starting running back.  If Lacy looks like he did in week 2 of the preseason as opposed to week 3 of the preseason, the Packers should have an every down back for the first time since Ryan Grant in 2009.

None of the players cut were a surprise other than possibly Harrell.  Given the fact that Harrell had to play the preseason game of his life last year just to make The 53, no one should be that surprised that Harrell was cut.  Cutting Harrell opens the door open for Vince Young to claim the backup quarterback spot behind Aaron Rodgers unless B.J. Coleman has the game of his life in the preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.  No matter how Young and Coleman play against the Chiefs, the Packers should keep former Wisconsin Badger quarterback Scott Tolzien in mind since he was recently cut from the 49ers.

Besides Young and Coleman, there are a number of other players that need to play well against the Chiefs to make The 53 because the Packers need to trim 22 more players from their roster by August 31st at 5 pm CDT.

Check back on Friday for my thoughts on the Packers/Chiefs preseason game where I also will give my thoughts on how I would choose The 53.

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